Why are March and August popular times for divorce filings?


A new study may have shed some light on why divorce filings are seeming more popular and prevalent in the months preceding and following the holiday season. Researchers from the University of Washington looked at divorce filing data from their state from 2001 to 2015. What they found are two profound spikes in filings during the months of March and August. Between those months are a plateau of filings, and during the holiday months (September through January) there is a noticeable valley in the number of divorce filings.

Why are there these distinct peaks in divorce filings during two months? And why is the holiday season (mostly) barren in relation to March and August?

There is no definitive answer, but there appear to be some very compelling theories as to why divorce filings vary from season to season, and even month to month.

  • Regarding the dearth of divorce filings during the holidays: Researchers believe this is due to couples that are on the rocks feeling a sense of hope during a magical time of the year. They hope that families and friends coming together during the holidays could get the couple out of their rut. It could also be a reluctance to actually file for divorce during this perceived magical time of the year.
  • Regarding the spike in filings during March: As a result of the reluctance to file during the holidays, many couples that are on the verge of divorce may finally give in during February and March when the holiday season doesn't fix their marriage.
  • Regarding the spike in filings during August: Similar to the March spike, this could be couples on the verge of divorce finally making the decision to split after the summer has passed.

Source: CNN, "Study: These are the peak times for divorce," AJ Willingham, Aug. 24, 2016

Share To: